What do you use on fruit trees to kill bugs, and stay organic?greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
I have this idea of having an ochard going strong by the time I retire. This is approx. 10 years down the road. Last year I bought some fruit trees at Big Lots for a great price and they were big and bagged in burlap. I planted them, 3 dwarf apple, 2 dwarf peaches,1 standard pear, and 1 standard Granny Smith apple. I had bought some "twigs" from Arbor Day foundation the year before, with 4 survivors and they are still half the size of my bargain trees. Okay my new trees have fruit on them this spring! Not very many but the 2 peach and the red Delicious have a few, and the Granny Smith has about 10. I have no idea what to use to keep the bugs and disease off them. It really is not a big deal this year but now that I see I really will have fruit, I need to take better care of the trees besides watering and weeding and feeding. Help please!
-- Karen Mauk (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 27, 2001
would depends on the bug/disease,, soap for aphids,, so an old guy spray kerosene on an apple tree,, before the blossoms, ,said it was to prevent diseases,, not sure what else
-- stan (email@example.com), May 27, 2001.
You can put vinegar in a hose sprayer and spray them down if the bugs or beetles get on them. If you can make the tree not smell like fruit to the bugs it helps. Ivory soap, oil and water is good too, but not for the hard bugs, just the soft ones. If it got real bad you could use like garlic or something stinky.
-- Cindy in KY (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 27, 2001.
We have been organic for over 16 years, we gave up on fruit trees. People don't want fruit that is not perfect and with out toxic spray you just can't raise pretty fruit. We sprayed with everything and anything people come up with, some kinda worked some were not worth the effort. You could probably handle a couple of trees but we planted a rather large orchard and there was no way. If people knew how much toxic materials are sprayed on fresh fruit they would never eat it. Really on any fruit canned or fresh.,
-- David (email@example.com), May 27, 2001.
I don't have any experience at growing orchard fruits, Karen. However, I did see something that might be interesting to you.
Check out Gardens Alive, their orchard section: here's a link
I'm specifically indicating the "Surround At Home" product, but there may be other stuff there that interests you too. I have no connection with the company, just like some of their other products that I've used.
-- Joy F [in So. Wisconsin] (CatFlunky@excite.com), May 28, 2001.
I advise that you order a copy of 'The Apple Grower -- a Guide for the Organic Orchardist' by Michael Phillips (Acres U.S.A.Book). This subject is so vast that we could be talking about this ad infinitum.
I would suggest that you remove the fruit this year while the trees are still getting established.
-- julie f. (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 28, 2001.
This may seem like a dumb question, but I'm new to this and don't know much. Does spraying for bugs keep the bees away? Also I read somewhere that if you encourage bug-eating birds to your orchards it helps. Some say they eat the apples, though.
-- Cathy N. (email@example.com), May 28, 2001.
Contact www.attra.org ( or .com), they are a free service of the federal ag. office, they have a list of acceptable treatments.
-- mitch hearn (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 28, 2001.
For your orchard, you would want to encourage aisian ladybugs. They are the orange ones that nest in house attics for the winter. They only feed in trees, not in low gardens. Preying mantises work very well for the larger bugs. Some birds should be encouraged, but not robins when you have ripening fruit.
Other than that, keeping the ground clear of fallen leaves and fruit that harbor disease and pests, good fertilizing and watering practice and good pruning skills can keep the trees healthy enough to fight off bug and disease attacks. I like the idea of keeping chickens or ducks in the orchard.
I mixed latex house paint with Listerine and painted the trunks of my fruit trees. It really seemed to help get rid of viruses and moths. They look so much healthier this year. I think that came from Jerry Baker, not sure.
-- Laura (LadybugWrangler@hotmail.com), June 02, 2001.
Karen: I have found one thing that works really well. Try spraying lemon juice on the leaves of the tree. This works very well on flowering trees also. Hope this will help.
-- Jeremy (email@example.com), June 25, 2001.
Get a copy of Gene Logsdon's book, "Organic Orcharding". It shows up on ABE Advanced Book Exchange on a regular basis, reasonably priced. You could check on Half.com as well.
Or check it out of the library. He gives a lot of different means for growing fruit organically. One thing I can remember off the top of my head that he says had a profound affect on reducing the number of orchard pests was running livestock in the orchard to clean up the dropped fruit. No dropped fruit laying around means noplace for bugs to overwinter or complete their life cycle.
-- Sojourner (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 25, 2001.